Edward Mendy scores late winner for Sporting KC U-19s
Following four rounds of DA Cup group stage matches to open the 2019-20 Academy campaign, the Sporting Kansas City Academy officially kicked off its U.S. Soccer Development Academy regular season on Saturday in a tripleheader against the Houston Dynamo at Swope Soccer Village.
The Sporting KC U-19s left it late before securing a hard-fought 1-0 victory, the U-17s secured a dramatic 3-2 win in a see-saw battle, and the U-15s twice took the lead before falling 4-2.
A delicately poised affair saw goalkeeper Max Trejo notch the all-important clean sheet, producing one of his best saves in the 13th minute to keep the game goalless. Clarence Weah conjured the best chance of the first half, beating his man only to see his low shot carom off the post. After sustained periods of pressure, Sporting finally broke through in the 73rd minute on a crisp finish from Edward Mendy that ultimately stood as the match-winner.
The U-17s bagged all three points in a five-goal thriller, but not before the sides grinded out a scoreless first 45 mintues in which goalkeeper Damian Alguera made multiple saves. A deluge of goals would ensnare the contest beginning on the hour mark when Francisco Lopez slotted Sporting ahead (highlight below) with a curling stunner. Houston responded well and equalized in the 72nd minute, but Jack Sartino vaulted the hosts back in front in the 86th minute. Lopez added his second and the team’s third in second-half stoppage time, rendering Houston’s last-gasp goal inconsequential.
Francisco Lopez scores twice for the Sporting KC U-17s
Manuel Romero gave Sporting a 1-0 advantage inside four minutes on Saturday, providing a bright start for what became a tough defeat. Houston leveled terms in the 14th minute, but the hosts went 2-1 up early in the second half when Gianluca Armellino found the back of the net. The Dynamo rallied with three unanswered goals, however, tallying in the 46th, 62nd and 73rd minutes to seal the comeback.
The Sporting KC U-17s and U-15s will take the field this week for the start of 2019-20 Generation adidas Cup qualifying, playing three matches each at Swope Soccer Village between Friday and Monday.
The Generation adidas Cup, now in its 13th edition, is one of the premier competitive youth soccer tournaments in North America. Swope Soccer Village will host six heralded MLS academies this weekend—namely Sporting, Chicago Fire, LA Galaxy, Minnesota United FC, San Jose Earthquakes and Seattle Sounders FC—as regional qualifying kicks off in four locations across the United States and Canada. All matches will be free of admission and open to the public.